Turning Arsenal’s new breed into ‘Invincibles’

WTTGT Writer: Tashan Deniran-Alleyne

Now that Gaël Clichy has left the club, there are now no remaining members from the ‘Invincibles’ squad from seven years ago. Which squad is better?

Goalkeepers: 03/04

Jens Lehmann and Graham Stack

Verdict: 9/10: ‘Mad’ Jens’ form was so consistent that young Stack didn’t even make a Premier League appearance, though he did lift the trophy. The German had huge shoes to fill after replacing David Seaman and he didn’t disappoint, making a number of fine stops during the course of the season.

Goalkeepers: 11/12

Wojciech Szczęsny, Lukasz Fabianski and Vito Mannone

Verdict: 7/10: Unless Wenger signs a new goalkeeper, Wojciech will start as the number one, and he showed signs of promise last season, but this season will be massive for him, he will need to prove he is ready. Vito and Lukasz are adequate cover.

Defenders: 03/04

Lauren, Kolo Touré, Sol Campbell, Ashley Cole, Martin Keown, Pascal Cygan and Gaël Clichy

Verdict: 10/10: There’s an old saying “You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.” I believe that applies perfectly here, conceding the least amount of goals that season is a good enough reason for a high score.

Defenders: 11/12

Bakary Sagna, Thomas Vermaelen, Laurent Koscielny, Sébastien Squillaci, Johan Djourou Kieran Gibbs, Emmanuel Eboué and Armand Traoré

Verdict: 7/10: The current defence is deeper than of seven years ago, but unlike their predecessors, they can’t handle the pressure when it really matters. Though, they are capable of producing high-quality defensive performances in certain high-profile games.

Midfield: 03/04

Freddie Ljungberg, Patrick Vieira, Gilberto, Robert Pires, Edu and Ray Parlour

Verdict: 10/10: Goals and assist from wide areas, strong committed leaders in the middle of the park, matched with fight and the desire to win all are the reason as to why they achieve full marks.

Midfield: 11/12

Abou Diaby, Cesc Fabregas, Tomas Rosicky, Samir Nasri, Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Andrei Arshavin

Verdict 9/10: When they are all on form, Arsenal possesses the best midfield in the country. They have skill and creativity aplenty, there for all to see. The only quality they seem to lack is maturity, which would benefit them when it comes to the crunch games.

Forwards: 03/04

José Antonio Reyes, Dennis Bergkamp, Sylvain Wiltord, Thierry Henry, Nwankwo Kanu and Jérémie Aliadière

Verdict: 9/10: 30 goals from the French master, a number of assist from the Dutch king meant Henry and Bergkamp had a terrific partnership. Only six goals between the back-up players deprives them of top marks, but the contributions of Kanu and Wiltord was much appreciated.

Forwards: 11/12

Robin Van Persie, Carlos Vela, Theo Walcott, Marouane Chamakh and Gervinho

Verdict: 8/10: If the Dutch prince, Van Persie had some support then the score would be higher. Chamakh has not cut it yet, Walcott and Vela need to produce consistent performances and Gervinho is a new addition. The score is pretty much based upon Van Persie’s brilliance alone, and if he could stay injury-free then it could be higher.

Final scores

03/04 Score:    38/40

11/12 Score:    31/40

There is a reason why the 2003/2004 Premier League winning squad were labelled the ‘Invincibles.’ They worked better as a unit and were mentally strong as they did go to grounds like Old Trafford, Stamford Bridge, Anfield and White Hart Lane amongst others.

Arsène Wenger recently claimed his current squad was the “best he ever had.” Quality-wise, he may be right but in terms of attitude, spirit and desire, it will always be the ‘Invincibles.’

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3 Responses to Turning Arsenal’s new breed into ‘Invincibles’

  1. July 15, 2011 at 9:30 am #

    In terms of attitude, spirit and desire, AFC will NEVER become invincible again as long as Cesc is in the team.
    He loves his wife's(AFC) sister(Barca).

  2. chris from Cambridge July 15, 2011 at 11:14 am #

    It amazes me that 46% have so far vote6d YES. Are we all watching the same team ?

  3. July 15, 2011 at 11:31 am #

    Where is Alex Song in your evaluation of both teams?

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